UCLA’s star edge player, Laiatu Latu, is making waves both in college football and NFL circles. Projected as a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft, he could be playing for the Los Angeles Chargers, according to The Athletic’s latest mock draft.
- Laiatu Latu is projected as a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft, landing at the Los Angeles Chargers.
- Latu has been a standout player for the UCLA Bruins, known for his disruptive presence on the defensive line.
- UCLA has a history of producing NFL talent, and Latu seems destined to continue that tradition.
As the college football season reaches its midpoint, the spotlight is turning towards the upcoming NFL draft, where promising talents like UCLA’s Laiatu Latu are garnering attention. In The Athletic’s latest 2024 NFL mock draft, compiled by Nick Baumgardner and Diante Lee, Latu is projected as the No. 23 overall pick, landing him a potential spot with the Los Angeles Chargers. If this projection holds true, Latu would be showcasing his skills just a stone’s throw away from UCLA’s home turf at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
Latu, a senior and edge player for the UCLA Bruins, has consistently proven himself as a force to be reckoned with on the defensive line. In the first six games of the season, he amassed an impressive 5.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss, solidifying his reputation as one of the premier defensive linemen not only in the Pac-12 but also across the nation. In a season marked by inconsistency for many teams, Latu has remained a constant standout for UCLA.
“Latu is PFF’s highest-rated defender in college football through six games (29 pressures and a 23.3-percent win rate). There are injury concerns from Latu’s past — he briefly retired because of a neck injury — but his production when healthy has been undeniable. He’s not the explosive athlete the edges at the top of the board are, but he’s a first-round pass rusher in this class if the medicals check out.”
The Athletic recognizes Latu’s impact, noting that he has left his mark at the Rose Bowl and is well on his way to becoming the next UCLA player to make a successful transition to the NFL. In recent years, UCLA has seen several of its alumni find success in the NFL, including players like cornerback Darnay Holmes, defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa, and running backs Joshua Kelley and Zach Charbonnet. Laiatu Latu’s potential as a first-round pick suggests that he is on track to join this illustrious list.
As the college football season progresses, all eyes will be on Laiatu Latu’s continued performance, as he looks to solidify his status as one of the most promising prospects for the 2024 NFL draft. If he continues to excel, the NFL might just be the next destination for this talented UCLA star.
Don’t forget to join our community at LA Sports Report, where we celebrate all things Bruins!